Goulburn City Bulldogs have secured a hard earned 28-20 victory over the West Belconnen Warriors in round one of the Blumers Lawyers Canberra Raiders Cup.
With neither team competing in 2020, it was great to see both the Bulldogs and the Warriors return to the Canberra Raiders Cup. It was the more experienced Goulburn team that took home the chocolates on Sunday against a young and exciting West Belconnen side.
Goulburn opened the scoring in the third minute when strike winger Steven Cummins crossed the line after a crisp backline move down the left edge. Goulburn added to their lead when hooker Ryan Griffin darted out from dummy half from close range to take the score out to 12-0.
The Bulldogs continued their first-half dominance when fullback Max Flack threw a beautiful cutout pass 20 meters out from the Warriors’ line to set up a try for winger Dom Stephens.
The Warriors finally hit back through new recruit, Joshua Ayers. The big second rower ran a great line off a Jack Beagley short ball and crashed over for a try. The Warriors couldn't convert the try leaving the scores at 18-4.
Goulburn scored just before half time when giant center Dillon Rota busted through the Warriors’ defence and broke a string of tackles on his way to the tryline.
West Belconnen came out swinging in the second half when Warriors' five eighth John Veloudas scored with a sensational solo effort. Veloudas stepped through multiple defenders from 30 meters out from the Bulldogs’ line to bring the scores to 22-10.
Kane Ruston then scored down left edge for West Belconnen after Goulburn gave away multiple penalties that gave the Warriors prime field position. Goulburn co-coach and co-captain Tyson Greenwood found himself in the bin for ill-discipline and the Warriors were quick to capitalise when Kane Rushton picked up his second try, but a missed conversion kept the scores to 22-20.
With a man down, and all the momentum with the Warriors, Goulburn showed tremendous resolve - managing to score the game winning try through Max Flack when he scored off an offload close to the line.